The ninth annual County Health Rankings report was set for release Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, with Lubbock County's rankings in Texas showing improvements from last year.

According to the data set, Lubbock County ranked 123rd in Health Outcomes and 87th in Health Factors out of 242 Texas Counties. Those are up from 167th and 94th, respectively, in 2017.

"We saw an improvement overall," said Katherine Wells, public health director with the Lubbock Health Department.

The rankings are determined by measures of various health outcomes and health factors for almost all counties in the country. The data is then compiled for public access on a website,, which allows users to narrow it down for county-by-county and year-by-year comparisons. Not every county is included in the report.

The 2018 numbers showed few significant changes from the 2017 data, but Lubbock County improved in many areas including quality-of-life measurements like low birth weight and fewer poor fair health, physical health and mental health days.

The data also reflects a drop in teen birth numbers, rates of uninsured people, health care costs and rates of preventable hospital stays.

"In clinical care areas, we always do excellent," Wells said.

The 2018 data also reflects slight increases in rates of adult smoking, sexually transmitted infections, injury deaths, and insufficient sleep, to name a few.

Wells said some of the data wasn't surprising, such as the the increase in adult obesity rates.

City health leaders are already working to create a community health needs assessment to get a better feel of how to tackle rates like rising obesity and STIs, she said.

The County Health Rankings report is a good tool to measure some of those needs, she said.

"I think it gives us a good way to check in every year to see how we're doing," Wells said.